Riz Ahmed has had quite a year. He's nominated for a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for his starring role in HBO's The Night Of, and has a supporting role in the blockbuster Jason Bourne. In the new Star Wars movie Rogue One, he plays Bodhi Rook, an Imperial pilot who wants to do good. Ahmed even has a verse on the Hamilton Mixtape . He's all over 2016. If all that weren't enough, Riz Ahmed plays Elias Rahim in The OA, the latest and rather mysterious Netflix series. It's a small role There are minor spoilers for The OA ahead, take caution.
The OA is about a girl who returns home after being held captive for seven years with supernatural secrets and an important mission. It might take you a second to place Ahmed without the English accent, but that's him as the FBI agent who interviews Prairie/Nina/OA upon her return. He appears first in Episode 4, and then a few more times as the season progresses. He makes a brief appearance in the final episode.
Rahim and some colleagues started a Victim Support Program in the FBI. He's a kind of therapist, not a medical doctor, and Prairie tells him a different side of the story than what she tells her "followers," so to speak. With Elias, she discusses her prophetic dreams. How she's processing being out of captivity. He gives her a ball maze game, similar to the one in Westworld. He encourages the family to do normal things — which backfires, but it was a nice thought and he's a likable character in a world where most of the adults have questionable motives. Hopefully, if the show gets a Season 2, he will be able to play a bigger role!